Jason Marquis hopes to return early
Until Wednesday morning, Jason Marquis still planned to make his scheduled start tonight. He had thrown twice -- "two great bullpens," he said -- in an effort to find a solution to his brutal struggles on the mound.
But on Wednesday morning, Marquis realized he would not pitch on his regular rotation. "My elbow locked up on me," he said. He told the Nationals he wanted to find out what had gone wrong, and that led to where he is today: on the 15-day disabled list, out for probably six weeks, with bone chips in his right elbow.
"It's a tough pill for me to swallow," Marquis said. "I've been pitching now for the last eight years, not be on the DL, not to miss any time, not miss any starts. I feel like I'm letting the team down. I pride myself on being durable. I pride myself on taking the ball every five days. It's tough to sit here and not be a part of something that looks like they're headed in the right direction."
While the team suggests Marquis will miss six weeks, Marquis hopes for an earlier return, perhaps in three weeks. "I'm a guy that likes to push the limits, so we'll see," Marquis said. "We'll know more when I start throwing again."
That should come when the Nationals return home from Florida next week, either May 2 or May 3. After that, he'll progress as quickly as he can. He eschewed surgery so he could pitch this year and hopes he won't need it at all. His focus is more immediate, anyway.
"I plan on being 100 percent when I come back," Marquis said.
In Cincinnati for a second opinion, Marquis had fluid drained from his elbow and took a cortisone shot. Marquis plans to speak with Craig Stammen, who pitched with bone chips in his elbow for most of last season. Eventually, Stammen needed surgery at the end of the season. Marquis's situation is reversed in a way -- he is unable to pitch now, so he'll treat and hopefully come back healthy.
When he does, he'll still have an 0-3 record and a 20.53 ERA. If Marquis believes his injury led to his rotten start, he kept that to himself.
"I'm not going to make excuses," Marquis said. "I just wasn't good. Were there some restrictions on my elbow? Yeah. If I'm going to go out there, I still feel like I can get it done and I can still put my team in a position to win."
April 23, 2010; 6:58 PM ET
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